Friday, December 22, 2006

Automated poll system offered for free in ’07 polls

The Philippine Star

The automated election system "Botong Pinoy," which was developed by a Filipino company, can be used for free by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the 2007 elections.

Botong Pinoy is one of five election systems that the government is evaluating for piloting in next year’s elections.

Probably the only election system provider supplying a complete end-to-end solution, from registration, voting, counting to transmission, tabulation, and even recounting, Mega Data said Botong Pinoy does not require a unique computer system that can only be used for elections.

Instead, it uses standard personal computers such as those usually found in schools or businesses and government offices.

Every three years, the Comelec will only need to borrow the standard computers installed in schools, where the elections are held anyway, for the one or two days needed to conduct the local or national elections, Mega Data said.

It said the Department of Education can install computers in all schools to help educate students, and the country can have fully computerized elections for free, since Botong Pinoy is being made available to the Comelec at no charge in the 2007 and 2010 elections.

The system offers no storage problems after the elections, no transportation problems and the government gets full use of its investment in computers for schools, it added.

Asked why Mega Data was allowing use of Botong Pinoy for free, Rafael Garcia IV, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Mega Data Corp., said, "We are doing it because we love the Philippines. Is there anything wrong with that?"

Mega Data is the company behind the five-minute clearance renewal system of the National Bureau of Investigation since 1977, and the two-minute driver’s license renewal system of the Land Transportation Office since 1984.

Both systems have brought these two important basic services of the government directly to the people with installations nationwide.

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